Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Things to do in the Lou!

Free things:

  1. Creve Coeur Lake- Lovely trails to stroll and 4 playgrounds as well
  2. Powder Valley Nature Reserve- Great visitor center all about nature and 3 trails of varying difficulty to walk
  3. Laumeier Sculpture Park- Great place to stroll around. They say they have a kids area but really it’s just more sculpture.
  4. Zoo- Free but parking in the lot is $15. We always park up by the art museum in the free lot. Their discovery room is amazing.
  5. History museum- has an amazing free discovery room
  6. Pick fruit- Eckerts has great kids areas but picking fruit will cost you. There are other orchards like Thies, Stuckmeyers, Hermans, and Braeutigams. also check out pumpkin patches
  7. Science Center- Discovery room is awesome and it’s $3.50 for an hour of play.
  8. Frisco Train Store- Awesome store where the kids can play with train tables for free but please donate or buy something so we keep this great place in business!
  9. Lone Elk Park/World Bird Sanctuary- WBS is a great place to let the kids run free
  10. Citygarden downtown- beautiful park filled with sculpture and pop jets and wading pools for the hot summer months.
  11. Shaw Nature Reserve- Cost is $1 and their outdoor classroom is amazing. Same exit as Purina Farms.
  12. Purina Farms- Great place to take the kids!
  13. Contemporary Art Museum- Free stroller tour the first Tues of every month with a craft and free breakfast from Companion bakery.
  14. Mastodon Park- Great place to walk around and learn about….mastodons.
  15. Elephant Rocks/ Johnson Shutins
  16. Mall play area- South county, West county, Chesterfield, Mid Rivers, Galleria, and the Mills are the only ones (Chesterfield also has the carousel and Toy Tyme)
  17. Most libraries have toddler time and baby time, check their websites for dates and times.
  18. Fly a kite and/or picnic on Art Hill
  19. Hartford Coffee Co or Rise Coffee House- Has kids areas and toys for the kids, with nice couches but I would feel weird going there and not getting coffee or something to eat.
  20. McDonalds- Quite a few locations have indoor play equipment including Rock Hill (also Chic-Fil-A)
  21. Kangaroo Kids- Has indoor play area for the kids and lots of great used clothing and baby gear, plus parenting events and playgroups
  22. Go play in a creek! Splash pads beat the heat too.
  23. St. Louis Live Steamers has free train rides in Kircher Park once a month.
  24. Ride bikes on Grant's trail or go hiking
  25. Indian Camp Creek Park in Wentzville- awesome playground and creek.
  26. Parenting Resources Center- check out their playgroups and classes
  27. Jewish Community Center free open play- check their schedule
  28. Stiches and Littles has book readings and princess parties
  29. Tour the Old Courthouse downtown. Tours are 45 mins long.
  30. Visit the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton. They give free tours of the loc and dam. Nearby is the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower (not free but very cool). Make a day trip of the area! Lots to do in Alton.
  31. Start Geocaching! It's free, addicting, and a very fun thing to do with littles!
  32. Go to a pet store and look at the animals
  33. Suson Park to see the animals
  34. Many places offer story time and activities- Lego Store, The Novel Neighbor, Left Bank Books, the APA, Stitches and Littles, Barnes & Noble, Pottery Barn Kids, V Stock SoCo Mall, History Museum, and Whole Foods.
  35. Stories at Stages in Chesterfield has book readings and then craft and movement time- all free
  36. Home Depot has free kids workshops where they build things
  37. The Foundry Art Centre  in St. Charles has family fun day some Sundays- tons of free crafts for kids
  38. Skateboard at a skate park
  39. Amber Sky has free story times and activities, check their calendar.
  40. Chess Hall of Fame- has toddler time every Tues. Kids can play on a lifesized chess board, make crowns and shields, go down slides and more. Actually this is not free anymore but is $5. 
  41. Free playgroup at St. Louis Arc Family Center- 1st Fri and 3rd Sat of the month from 10-11:30
  42. Free story time called Tuesday Tails at the APA
  43. Willoughby Farm in Collinsville
  44. The Prologue Room at Boeing
    50. The Nine Network in Grand Center has free story time and activities themed around their popular kids shows (called Storytime in the Commons- during summer only)
    51. Tour the Billy Goat Potato Chip Company on Watson
    52. Kiener plaza downtown to play on the new playground and splashpad. 
    53. Wildlife rescue center to do the nature trail and tour the hospital. 
  Things that cost:

  1. Meramec Caverns- $21 adults, $11 kids- zip line, canoes, cave tours, riverboat tours, and a restaurant.
  2. Wabash, Frisco, and Pacific railway- $4 a person…cute little train that takes you on a scenic 30 min ride through Wildwood.
  3. Grant’s Farm- Technically free but parking is $12 a car- $5 off coupon floating around online
  4. Butterfly House- $6 adults, kids under 12 are $4, kids under 2 are free. Admission is FREE the first Tues of every month from 9-11.
  5. Botanical Garden- Their kids area is amazing, and it’s free to get in every Sat before noon, otherwise $4 for adults, kids free under 12. The admission for the kids area is an additional $5 for nonmembers for kids 3-12. Also the Brookings discovery room in the Climatron is amazing.
  6. Transportation Museum- Their Creation Station is an hour of fun in a room filled with transportation themed toys, cost is $2 a person plus reg museum admission which is $8 adults, kids 3-12 $5.
  7. City Museum- tons of things to do there, including enchanted caves and slides, rooftop ferris wheel, toddler town, skate park, tiny train railroad, and more. ages 3 and up $12 a person
  8. Bob Kramer’s Marionettes- A legend in town but also kind of bizarre. It was $22 for Nick and I and it was dusty dirty and felt old and stale. They do a puppet show and show the kids how the puppets are made. Prob better for older kids.
  9. Magic House- Lots to see and do here $10 a person age 1 and up
  10. Cahokia Mounds- Technically free but they ask for a $4 donation
  11. The Arch- The Jefferson National Expansion Museum under the arch is free to wander around in, to go to the top is $10 adults, $5 kids. Check before you go as it's currently under renovation.
  12. Tour the Compton Hill Water Tower- Views of the city are amazing, one of very few water towers left in the country. It’s old though and there are lots of steps.
  13. Paddleboats in Forest Park and have lunch at the Boathouse- $20 an hour (there are also paddleboats for $7 at Grant's Farm)
  14. Raging Rivers water park in Grafton- 4 feet tall and over $22 for the day, under 4 feet $19, under 2 free. Go after 3 pm and get a discount. 8 diff water areas to enjoy including one for little guys. There are other water parks like Hurricane Harbor, Aquaport, or Splash City.
  15. Bowling- Lots of places are free during the summer, just rent the shoes.
  16. COCA or Craft Alliance- They offer kids classes
  17. Kirkwood Discovery Room- In the Kirkwood Early Childcare center, they have open play for $5 for the first child, $3 each additional child, and it is so worth it. Play is from 9:30- 11:30 and they have every toy under the sun plus sensory bins and craft time. For kids birth to age 5. Run by parents as teachers, they only take checks, no cash or credit cards.
  18. Open gym- South Co and Mid Co YMCA have open gym for $5 from 9:30 to 11:00. Kids can run down a long trampoline, play on the balance beams and uneven parallel bars, or just run and jump. Very good place to let them run wild, it’s all on soft mats and they can burn major energy. Also Hi NRG, Little Gym, Miss Kelly's, Olympiad, Barron, Flipstarz, and Team Central all have open gym- check their schedules.
  19. Myseum- Part magic house, part science center in Town & Country. It’s big with lots to do including a huge slide where you can clock your speed, dig for dinosaur bones and more. $11 adults, kids $6. No time limit
  20. Ride the Carousel in Faust Park- $2, kids under 1 are free There is lots to do in Faust park, including a historic village that is great for photo ops, and a playground. Sometimes they have ride and play for $8 which gets you unlimited rides and the toy room for 2 hrs. Check their schedule.
  21. Incredible Pizza Co/Chuck E Cheese- Lots of games and food here. Like Dave and Busters but on a smaller scale. For older children, there is laser tag, go karts, bumper cars and glow mini-golf, mini-bowling, and various other arcade type games.
  22. Movies- Some movie theatres offer free or cheap kids movies and don’t frown on the kids being loud.
  23. Six Flags- Not cheap but they have a toddler area and includes admission to Hurricane Harbor.
  24. Dream Play Recreation- a swingset store that has 12 huge swingsets for the kids to play on and trampolines and basketball. (rainbow swingset superstore was the same thing but is out of business) 
  25. Shrewsbury City Center has open play on certain days (changes every semester) for $2 from 10 to noon.
  26. Go to tot time or swimming at a pool, it's usually cheap for kids under 5 to play in the baby area. Indoor pools in the winter is great too!
  27. Airplane museum in Creve Coeur at Creve Coeur Airport
  28. The Sports Academy in Glen Carbon has a great indoor playground for $3.
  29. Playtime Party Center in Wentzville $2 a person
  30. Chesterfield Sports Fusion- Indoor playground for young children, indoor mini-golf, laser tag, dodgeball, a climbing wall and an arcade.
  31. Family Fun day at Ballpark Village
  32. Big Joel's Safari in Wright City, it's worth the drive! My kids love feeding all the animals. You can get a lot closer to them than you can at the zoo. There's also Critter Lane down south in Valles Mines MO
  33. Swing-A-Round Fun Town- bumper boats, indoor playground, mini golf, arcade, and more!
  34. Tee Time Family Fun Center on Lemay-go carts, mini golf, bumper cars, bumper boats, free soft play, video games, blacklight 3d maze. JUST WENT OUT OF BUSINESS EARLY 2017
  35. Tour Busch Stadium. Adults $12, kids $8, 3 and under are free. Not including parking.
  36. Take a riverboat cruise. The Becky Thatcher and the Tom Sawyer give one hour sight seeing cruises daily. Adults $18, kids $8, under 3 free.
  37. The Endangered Wolf Center offers tours and messy play dates. Check with them for schedules/fees.
  38. Take a cooking class with the kids- Dierbergs, Eckerts, Kitchen Conservatory, ABC chefs, L'Ecole Culinaire, Sweetology and more.
  39. We Rock The Spectrum inclusive indoor gym
  40. Upper Limits Rock Climbing
  41. Go Ape! Zip line and treetop adventure
  42. Roller Skating/ice skating
  43. World Aquarium on the Landing
  44. Kokomo Joe's in St. Peters
  45. The Pointe Activity Center has a sportwall system, dance dance revolution, wii, and a climbing wall. $7 per kid
  46. Sky Zone indoor trampoline park
  47. Webster Rec Plex open play
  48. Rockin' Jump O'Fallon- indoor trampoline park
  49. Edison's Entertainment Complex- family fun center
  50. HealthWorks Kids' Museum- around the corner from the Science Center
  51. Pole Position indoor go cart raceway
  52. Paint Ball
  53. Go get a sweet treat! Whether it's custard, ice cream, cupcakes, sno cones or donuts, there are plenty of places in town to sample.
  54. Escape the room
  55. Kindermusik or any music class
  56. Play Mini Golf
  57. The Neutral Zone arcade in Chesterfield Mall
  58. Check out a family fun center
  59. Riverside Wildlife Center- Stanton Mo 
    67. Paint Pottery 
    68. Momentum Theragym classes and activities 
    69. The Miniature Museum of St. Louis 
    71. The Flying Spider in Ballwin 
    72. Circus Flora (summer only) 
    73. Take a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi
    74. Grandma's Playroom open play
    75. Rusty Wallace Karting Center 

St. Louis Recurring Festivals:
  1. Mardi Gras- Feb/Mar (Soulard)
  2. St. Patrick’s Day- March (Dogtown & Downtwon)
  3. Earth Day- April (Forest Park)
  4. Children's Festival- May (St. Charles Main St)
  5. Irish Fest- Memorial Day (St. Charles Main St)
  6. Fair St. Louis- July (Downtown)
  7. Strassenfest- August (Downtown)
  8. Festival of Nations – August (Tower Grove Park)
  9. Festival of the Little Hills- August (St. Charles Main St)
  10. Japanese Festival- Labor Day (Botanical Garden)
  11. Big Muddy Blues Festival September (Laclede’s Landing)
  12. Greek Festival- September (Central West End)
  13. Greentree Festival- September (Kirkwood)
  14. Great Forest Park Balloon Glow/Race- September (Forest Park)
  15. Apple Butter Festival- October (Kimmswick)
  16. Oktoberfest- October (Soulard and St. Charles Main St)
  17. Christmas Traditions – December (St. Charles Main St)

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